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Reese Witherspoon may have started off as “just an actress” when she landed her first lead role in The Man in the Moon in 1991 but today she is a multi-hyphenate business mogul who can list film and television as well as CEO of her media company, Hello Sunshine (the force behind Big Little Lies, Wild, Gone Girl) and founder of lifestyle brand Draper James.
She is also an Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winner. In other words, the woman is a beast.
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And though she makes it all look so easy with an effortless smile and that never waning Southern charm, Witherspoon did once doubt herself as being capable of running a company.
She told InStyle magazine this month, “I never knew I could run a company [the media firm Hello Sunshine]. I had to have people tell me I could do it. I had no idea I had this skill until about eight years ago.” Witherspoon continued, “My husband [Quibi executive Jim Toth] told me I could, and my agent echoed what he said. Then, when I was at a conference speaking about the importance of women in media, an executive from a major media platform came up to me.
He goes, “Why aren’t you running your own media company? Why are you working for someone else? Why don’t you just do it yourself?” I thought, “Jeez, if the CEO of this company thinks I can do it, maybe I can.”
The Wild Wild West
Besides the outside reinforcement what really made her think she could launch and run her own media company was something many of us think but never say during meetings.
“When you start to realize that nobody knows what they’re doing, you go, ‘Oh!’ Nobody knows what they’re talking about in meetings. It’s literally the Wild, Wild West,” Witherspoon said. “The movie business is not what it used to be; streaming platforms are taking over. You have to flow with things and be awake, aware, and clued into the change.”
So, there you go. The secret to having confidence is realizing that most people are making it up as they go along they just look like they know what they are doing. But it helps if you are Reese Witherspoon.
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